Pope calls for ethics in world economy

Pope Benedict XVI, right, poses with Macedonian Parliament Speaker Trajko Veljanovski prior to their private audience in the pontiff's studio, at the Vatican, Saturday, May 22, 2010

VATICAN CITY—Pope Benedict XVI called Saturday for ethics and solidarity in the world’s financial system, rebuking governments he said failed to act properly in the face of speculation that hurts poorer nations.

Benedict did not mention specific countries in his comments.

But he said that an “ethical interaction of conscience and intelligence” appears to be “too weak in those rulers who, faced with renewed episodes of irresponsible speculation toward weaker countries, fail to react with adequate decisions on financial governance.”

The pontiff said politics should always be predominant over finance and ethics must guide all action.

“The crisis and the difficulties that international relations, states, society and the economy are currently going through,” he said, “are largely due to a lack of trust and of adequate aspiration toward solidarity.”

Benedict was speaking to members of the Vatican foundation Centesimus Annus, named after a 1991 encyclical by John Paul II on economics following the collapse of European communism. The foundation seeks to promote the church’s social doctrine.

Benedict said the search for common good must inform globalization and be the goal of progress and development, which would otherwise merely serve to produce material goods.

“Without a tendency toward common good, consumerism, waste, poverty and imbalance end up prevailing,” the pope said during the meeting at the Vatican.

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